Tampa Chapter

Sons of the American Revolution

May 2021



          Meeting Announcements

          Revolution History note

          Program Schedule

          Spring BOM Report

          Color Guard Activity

          SAR Events    

          Misc. reminders and information


Meeting Announcements

        The May meeting of the Tampa Chapter of the SAR will be Saturday May 15th at the Mission BBQ located at 5602 West Waters Ave. in NW Tampa.  You are asked to arrive around 11:15, order your meal and eat in the private dining room prior to noon. At noon we will gather in the parking lot for the presentation of the colors to celebrate Armed Forces Day.  We will then go back to the private room for our meeting which will include Florida SAR’s JROTC statewide contest 2nd place winner Jonuel Martinez of Middleton High School.  Cadet Martinez will be presented his 2nd Place Certificates and cash awards and he will read his essay. We will also be catching up on new member inductions and other awards.

          The April meeting, again by Zoom, featured Tara Ross, a nationally recognized expert on the Electoral College, who shared her views on why she believes the Electoral College is essential to our form of government.  She has written books on this and other subjects.    



Revolution History Note

I am wrapping up this meeting-year with a two-part series on the Quebec Act.  Last month I provided some background to the Act, explaining why Parliament passed it and explaining its provisions. This month I will connect it to the break with England and why the American colonists saw danger to themselves in an Act of Parliament directed towards Quebec.


The Quebec Act – Part2   Why the American colonists viewed the Quebec Act as one of the “Intolerable” Acts and its causal relationship to the break with England.


Last month we looked at the Quebec Act. The British Parliament passed it to ensure the loyalty of the French population in Quebec province.  It made concessions to the French Catholic population regarding religious toleration, changed the government structure and expanded the boundaries of Quebec to include all lands north of the Ohio River.  This month we will look at why the American colonists viewed it as a threat to their liberty and why some historians see it as a major cause of the break with England.[i]    

By the time England implemented the Quebec Act, many colonists had a strong distrust of England.  Therefore, they read into the Quebec Act a portent of what lies instore for them.

The colonists first problem with the Quebec Act is that it gave certain rights and privileges to the Catholics in Canada. That this would be a problem may be hard for us to understand. In addition to believing the British were being too lenient with the French Catholics, the colonists came to believe that it was a precursor to the British meddling more directly in religious affairs in the colonies.[ii]  

          Second, by increasing the size of Quebec to include all lands north of the Ohio River and west of Pittsburgh to the Mississippi, the Quebec Act put a restraint on Americans moving into the Ohio Valley. To do so would put them under the authority of the British Governor for Quebec and the new laws and regulations governing Quebec.

          But the new governmental structure of Quebec is what disturbed the colonist the most.  The Act invested the Royal Governor with more powers than those exercised by the Royal Governors of the 13 seaboard colonies.  In Quebec there would be no Council or elected legislature to check the Governor. The American colonist believed that they might, in time, lose their colonial legislatures and that British rule would become stricter and more arbitrary. Thus, many colonists perceived the Quebec Act as a precursor to the British changing the existing governmental structures in the thirteen colonies and instituting absolute rule in North America.

          The Quebec Act had no direct effect on the American colonists, but by 1774 many colonists saw in it their future.  That perception is why some historians give the Quebec Act the prominence they do in discussing what caused the Americans colonists to rebel. 


i Several years back, I wrote a column about the Historiography of the background to the break with England.  Of the six main “schools” of thought, the Bancroft school is the one most relevant to how the Quebec Act has been presented.  The Bancroft school holds that all the acts, proclamations and laws passed by Parliament and enforced by the King during the period 1763-1775 were part of a deliberate plan to take away colonial liberties and strengthen British control. 

I must add I do not accept the Bancroft school’s approach. I favor the Constitutional school (what powers Parliament did and did not have or should and should not have) and the Imperial school (quite simply England was overwhelmed by having an Empire following the 1754-1763 War for Empire and did not know how to cope with it or govern it.) In the fall, I will do a two-part series on the Ideological school, asking, “How influential was Locke?”  A quick summary of the major schools is at the end of the newsletter.


ii The colonists were mostly anti-Catholic. Yes, there was the protected Catholic minority in Maryland and a smattering of Catholics in Georgia and Pennsylvania, but in the other colonies, Catholicism was prohibited and Catholics were liable to be persecuted. 


Program schedule

The Tampa Chapter will take its usual Summer Recess with hopes of returning to in-person meetings at a permanent location for the Chapter.  Mark your calendar for September 18. 


BOM Report

The Florida SAR held its Spring BOM and Annual Meeting in Kissimmee on April 30 and May 1.  The annual Rumbaugh Oration Contest was held during this meeting.  The Annual Meeting of the South Atlanta District was also held in conjunction with the FLSSAR meetings.  The Youth Luncheon was held on Saturday with all of the many Youth Contest winners introduced as well as the Florida SAR History Teacher of the Year.  Elections were held and the following compatriots were elected to office for the 2021-2022 year.  


                   Bernard Wolff (Miami)                       President

                   Earl “Matt” Matthews (Mariana)           Senior Vice President

                   Scott Breckenridge (Jacksonville)       Secretary

                   Richard Young (Tampa)                       Treasurer

                   Raymond Lantz (Pensacola)                  Registrar

                   Ronald Grove (Lake-Sumter)               Exec Committee Member-At-Large


Pat Niemann of the Clearwater Chapter was nominated to serve as the Vice President General of the South Atlantic District, with elections to be held at the National Congress in July.  The Proceedings Book with all of the Committee and Officer Reports is available on the FLSSAR.ORG website.                       


Color Guard Activity




On April 18, the Highlands Chapter sponsored the dedication of a Liberty Tree as part of the Highlands County 100th Anniversary celebration.  A possible annual Patriots Day ceremony to rededicate this Liberty Tree is being discussed.  Robbie Robinson and Dick Young represented the Tampa Chapter at this event. 


On May 8 the Pensacola Chapter hosted a virtual Commemoration of the Battle of Pensacola.  This important seige and battle led to the capture of this British held port and fort and included solders and sailors from Spain, France and many other counties fighting for the US.  Your Color Guard Commander participated in this virtual event.


May 15 - As noted above, Mission BBQ will be recognizing Armed Forces Day prior to our meeting.  Our Color Guard has been invited to participate in this recognition. 


May 31 Memorial Day – American Legion Post #5 will be hosting a live Memorial Day Celebration at their post on Monday, May 31 at 10:00 AM.  Our Color Guard has been invited to Present the Colors at this event.  Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend, bring your family and invite your friends and neighbors to attend and remember those Veterans of our nation’s military who are no longer with us.     


June 5 -The 241st Anniversary of the Battle of Ramsour's Mill will be sponsored by the Catawba Valley Chapter of the North Carolina SAR on Saturday, June 5th, at 10 am.  This commemoration will be a hybrid National Color Guard event which will be conducted in-person in Lincolnton, NC and also on Zoom.


June 14 – Last month I reported rumors of a Flag Day event at Disney.  I have not been able to confirm that event. 


October 9 – Chaarlotte County will be celebrating its 100th Anniversary and there will be an SAR and DAR sponsored Liberty Tree Dedication (sound familiar). 


Other Chapters and State Societies continue to hold virtual Color Guard events.  That information will be forwarded as it comes available. 


SAR Events


The 2021 Congress is scheduled to be held in-person in Renton, Washington (Seattle) on July 8 – 14.  Information is available on the SAR website.  The 2022 Congress will be in Savanah, Georgia.  The 2023 Congress will be held in Orlando.  Plans are being made and volunteers will be needed. 


Miscellaneous Reminders

The face book page for the Tampa Sons of the American Revolution is Tampa Sar. The password to add anything is American1776.  Please feel free to upload pictures or comments. Invite all your friends to take a look.


Chapter Website—remember you can find information about the chapter and programs on the chapter website.   http://www.tampasar.org/


One of the duties of the Chapter Chaplain is to send cards to our members that are sick. Another is to send a sympathy card to the family of a member who has passed away. If you know of anyone that should be the recipient of these cards, please mention it to Chaplain Sessums or one of the other officers.


 Chapter officers and committee chairmen are encouraged to send any pertinent information they wish included in the newsletter to the editor.

Summary of the major schools of thought on the Colonies break from England

·         Constitutional school (stamp act, taxation without representation etc.) Ramsey

·         Bancroft School (English tyranny)

·         Economic interpretation (Marxist class struggle)

·         Namier School (George III mentally unstable)

·         Imperialist school (England could not handle “problem of empire”)

·         Ideological school (libertarian ideas transmitted from Lilbourne to Locke toTrenchard & Gordon to the colonists.  Freedom/Liberty.)